Management & Board
President, Chief Executive Officer & Director
Mr. Karos currently is an independent investor and consultant in the maritime and commodity industry advising boutique investment banks and private equity firms in addition to working on projects related to physical commodity trading, maritime technology, and freight forward agreements. From 2006 to 2013, he worked at hedge fund Polar Asset Management Partners in Toronto for the US Equity Long/Short team where he was responsible for the trading activities of the fund as well as investments in shipping, amongst other analytical and trading responsibilities. From 1997 to 2005, he managed the trading desk at Arbor Capital Management LLC, a small cap growth equity pension manager, in Minneapolis in addition to other analytical and operational responsibilities. Mr. Karos began his career in 1995 at Investment Advisers, Inc. in Minneapolis as an analyst for the Small Cap Growth Fund. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Colby College.
MIHALIS (MIKE) SAPOUNTZOGLOU
Chief Financial Officer & Director
Mr. Sapountzoglou brings over 25 years of experience in shipping finance as well as trading in capital markets to Bluewater. Mr. Sapountzoglou is currently serving as director of Flagship Navigations Ltd., a commercial ship management company, since 2016. He began his career with Sun Enterprises Ltd., in Piraeus (G.S Livanos shipping group) and after his studies, he continued with the group in their Monaco family office where he focused on proprietary trading and asset management. He joined the Angelopoulos Group (Metrostar) at their family office in 1994 where he stayed until his departure in 2015. During his 21 years, he led projects within the group’s core investments including steel mills, shipping and off- shore UDW rigs. As Finance Director for Metrostar Management Corp., he was responsible for the company's shipping financing strategy and business development. In the offshore sector, he was director of Deepsea Metro, a joint venture with Odfjell Drilling Ltd. and led the company’s fundraising efforts, raising over $1.5 billion in the capital markets. Mr. Sapountzoglou is also founder of Alia Blue Invest, a fully featured FCA-approved B2C online investment crowdfunding platform, enabling companies with innovative marine technology projects to attract qualified investors. Mr. Sapountzoglou holds an Honors BA in Economics and International Finance from Wilfrid Laurier University in Canada.
ANTONIOS (TONY) BACKOS
Advisor & Director
Mr. Backos has over 19 years of strategic corporate shipping transaction experience and has served since 2012 as the Executive Director of AB Management LLC, a private consulting firm providing transactional advisory services to international ultra-high net worth families and their affiliates and start-ups primarily in the shipping, energy and natural resources sectors. He also assisted in founding Zebra Fuel Ltd., an app-based energy delivery start-up, in 2016 and has served as one of its directors since inception. Mr. Backos served as Senior Vice President for Corporate Development, General Counsel and Secretary of Pyxis Tankers Inc., a Nasdaq-listed product tanker company, from its inception in 2015 until 2018. Mr. Backos was a partner focusing on capital markets, private equity, mergers & acquisitions and other corporate cross-border transactions at the international law firms of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Watson, Farley & Williams LLP, and Healy & Baillie LLP. He commenced his corporate legal career in 1997 and also worked at the New York and London offices of international law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP. Mr. Backos has a B.S. (Wharton) and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and graduate degrees from the London School of Economics (M.Sc.) and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D.). Mr. Backos is a member of the New York Bar, the Connecticut Maritime Association and the Maritime Law Association of the United States.
Mr. Levesque is a founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Qwest Investment Management Corp. an investment manager. Mr. Levesque is the Chairman, CEO and Chief Compliance Officer of Qwest Investment Fund Management Ltd. and is the Chairman, President and director of Heritage Bancorp Ltd., both companies being 100.00% wholly-owned subsidiaries of Qwest Investment Management Corp. Qwest Investment Fund Management Ltd. is registered as an investment fund manager in Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec, portfolio manager in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, and Ontario, and as an exempt market dealer in British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Ontario. He has over 30 years of experience in the Canadian financial industry and is recognized for his broad knowledge, skills and experience in the venture capital industry, financial services industry and for his leadership skills in new business formation and development. Mr. Levesque is a founder and/or a director of several private and publicly traded companies which operate in a variety of industries. He is a graduate from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a diploma in Administration Management.
Mr. McFadden has broad management and financial experience and expertise across a number of industries including oil & gas, power, energy and industrial products distribution, specialty chemicals and energy marketing. Previously, he was Vice President, Capital Markets and Business Development at Eagle Energy Inc., an oil and gas company. Prior to that position, he was Executive Vice President, Business Development at Superior Plus Corp., a conglomerate with holdings in energy distribution, specialty chemicals and industrial products distribution. Before that, he was CEO of several affiliated companies which developed, constructed and operated three windpower projects totalling 147 MW of capacity. Mr. McFadden also spent 14 years in investment banking at a major Canadian bank where his last position was Managing Director and Co-head of Investment Banking in Calgary. His financial expertise and experience includes equity IPO’s, project debt finance, derivatives, mergers and acquisitions and tax-driven structures.
Mr. Therrien is the Chief Executive Officer of AlphaDelta Management Corp., an investment fund manager. Over the past 25 years, he has served in the following executive roles: Vice-President, Director for AGF / 2020 Group of Funds (Canada’s third largest mutual fund company), Executive Vice-President and Director (Canada), Director / Global Institutional Group at Brandes Investment Partners Ltd. (a global investment management firm), President and CEO at Therrien Woods & Co. (an investment council portfolio manager and limited market dealer) and Vice-President (Ontario) Richardson Partners Financial (Canada’s sixth largest brokerage firm). He has held positions on several executive committees, investment oversight committees and long-term strategic planning and product development committees. During his tenure, Mr. Therrien has raised over $15 billion in assets while developing and launching over 23 mutual funds and investment unit trusts. He is a director of AlphaDelta Management Corp. and Qwest Investment Funds Management Inc.
Vice President, Business Development
Mr. Kagel was most recently Manager Director, Equity Trading, at Piper Jaffray Companies, a full-service U.S. investment bank and asset management firm, for almost 12 years. Prior thereto, he was a Partner of Red Sky Partners, LLC, an advisory firm, and Managing Director, Trading, at RBC Dominion Securities Inc., a full-service Canadian investment bank. Mr. Kagel attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Mr. Warkentin is a Partner at Nerland Lindsey LLP, a law firm. For over 25 years he has worked with public issuers, closely held corporations, limited partnerships and trusts providing advice and direction regarding corporate structure, corporate reorganizations, regulatory compliance and capital raising. Mr. Warkentin is Corporate Secretary of Qwest Investment Management Corp. He received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta and was called to the Bar in 1990. He also received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Western Washington University.